Kenneth Turan

Kenneth Turan is the film critic for the Los Angeles Times and NPR's Morning Edition, as well as the director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. He has been a staff writer for the Washington Post and TV Guide, and served as the Times' book review editor.

A graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, he is the co-author of Call Me Anna: The Autobiography of Patty Duke. He teaches film reviewing and non-fiction writing at USC and is on the board of directors of the National Yiddish Book Center. His most recent books are the University of California Press' Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made and Never Coming To A Theater Near You, published by Public Affairs Press.

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4:11am

Tue December 9, 2014
Movie Reviews

Stalked By A Fiend Worse Than Any Elm Street Nightmare

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 11:27 am

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3:57am

Fri October 31, 2014
Movie Reviews

Review: Gyllenhaal's 'Nightcrawler' Is Pulp With A Purpose

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 6:42 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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And now to a movie review. Actor Jake Gyllenhaal has been in many memorable films - "Brokeback Mountain," "End Of Watch" - film critic Kenneth Turan, though, says "Nightcrawler" is the best work he's ever done.

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3:53am

Fri October 10, 2014
Music Reviews

Journalist Gary Webb's Story Told In 'Kill The Messenger'

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 7:26 pm

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4:12am

Mon September 29, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Equalizer' Devotes Time To Character Development, Graphic Violence

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 6:17 am

Denzel Washington stars as a retired intelligence officer in The Equalizer.
Scott Garfield Sony Pictures

When star Denzel Washington and director Anton Fuqua collaborated on 2001's Training Day, the film won Washington an Oscar and changed the trajectory of his career. Now they are together again.

The Equalizer is unapologetic in its excessive, frequently grotesque violence. But because it's got Denzel Washington as its star, it's more interested in character development than you might guess.

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5:55am

Mon February 24, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Child's Pose' Feels 'Terrifyingly Authentic'

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:34 am

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film will be handed out in a couple weeks. And though Romania's "Child's Pose" is not one of the finalists, film critic Kenneth Turan says its as good as any of them.

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6:19am

Fri November 15, 2013
Movie Reviews

Bruce Dern's 'Transcendent Performance' In 'Nebraska'

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 9:49 am

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Back in May at the Cannes film festival, Bruce Dern won the best acting award for "Nebraska." That movie is now opening in theaters in the U.S. and here's film critic Kenneth Turan with a review.

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4:12am

Fri October 25, 2013
NPR Story

Soulless 'Counselor' Is Terminally Bleak

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 5:43 am

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. The writer Cormac McCarthy has won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. He has never written an original screenplay produced until now. That film, "The Counselor," opens this weekend. Kenneth Turan has our review.

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5:09am

Fri February 1, 2013
NPR Story

How 'Sound City' Changed The Face Of Rock 'N Roll

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 10:26 am

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

One of the most entertaining documentaries to come out of this year's Sundance Film Festival is "Sound City." The rock musician Dave Grohl, of the band Foo Fighters, is the director - a first for him. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has this review.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: "Sound City" is a mash note to a machine - not just any machine, however, but one that helped change the face of rock 'n' roll.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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3:28am

Fri November 9, 2012
Movies

Daniel Day-Lewis 'Simply Becomes Lincoln'

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 11:46 am

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This year, we've had not one, but two movies about the sixteenth president of the United States. This spring, "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" slashed its way into theaters. This week, a more historically accurate Lincoln shows up onscreen.

Kenneth Turan has this review.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: Daniel Day-Lewis is a two-time Oscar-winning actor, but he surpasses himself and makes us see a celebrated figure in unanticipated ways in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln."

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4:30am

Fri August 3, 2012
Movies

Back To The Future With 'Total Recall' Remake

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Look for a review of the new science fiction epic "Total Recall" and you'll see headlines ready Total Makeover. You might recall the 1990 original starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. With our review of the remake, here's Kenneth Turan.

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4:03pm

Thu July 12, 2012
Movie Reviews

Whatever The Country, No Such Thing As 'Easy Money'

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 8:57 am

Mrado (Dragomir Mrsic) is the enforcer for a Serbian drug cartel that controls business in Sweden, and one of three characters who clash in Easy Money.
Weinstein Company

Easy Money is a fine title for a film, but to truly savor the tang of this top-drawer Scandinavian thriller, try rolling its original Swedish title off your tongue. Say hello to Snabba Cash.

Director Daniel Espinosa starts his splendid crime story all in a rush, throwing us right into the middle of a trio of chaotic situations.

Introduced first is Jorge, a Chilean living in Sweden — in fact in a Swedish prison. Making his escape, Jorge promptly goes into hiding, as much from other local bad guys as from the police.

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4:14am

Fri June 22, 2012
Movies

Why Knew? Honest Abe Rid The World Of The Undead

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 6:17 am

With a movie title like Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, it's no mystery what the plot is. Young Mr. Lincoln is tutored by an experienced vampire killer and goes into training with his trusty ax. He bears a special grudge against vampires because they killed his mother.

4:19am

Fri June 8, 2012
Movies

Will 'Prometheus' Top 'Alien' Or 'Blade Runner'?

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 2:03 pm

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Ridley Scott has made two of the most acclaimed science fiction films, "Alien" and "Blade Runner." Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has this review of the director's newest sci-fi effort, "Prometheus."

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: "Prometheus" ends up with less to say than it thinks it does. It's more involving than many of this year's summer blockbuster competition, but by the standards of the director's earlier films, it's a disappointment.

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5:46am

Fri May 4, 2012
Movies

'Avengers' Usher In Summer Blockbuster Movies

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 8:57 am

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, so it's still officially spring, but the movie world is kicking off the summer blockbuster season this weekend with a whole lineup of superheroes in Marvel's "The Avengers." Here's film critic Kenneth Turan's review.

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4:12am

Fri April 27, 2012
Movies

Stop Motion Animation Brings 'Pirates! Band Of Misfits' Alive

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 6:24 am

Stop motion animation, where physical objects are manipulated literally frame by frame to give the illusion of movement, is one of the oldest movie techniques, but it's being used in a brand new film called The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

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